One of my favorite parts about performing for weddings is talking with couples before their special day and finding out which songs are must-haves. I recently did an informal survey of some past brides and brides-to-be. I asked them, “How did you choose specific songs to be played for your wedding ceremony and reception?” I think their answers will be helpful to all brides and grooms as they work with their musicians to create the perfect play list, especially if they’re struggling a bit with their decisions.
1. Choose songs that are important to you as a couple, says Sherri: “We picked songs that we had been listening to on our dates, or during a drive. I even chose a song that was playing in a store one time while we were on a trip. Every time I hear it, I am transported back to that store and I can picture the way he looked at me and how I felt.”
2. Get the groom involved, says Tina: “I handled the music for our outside ceremony, and I went for very traditional pieces. My husband was responsible for choosing the reception music, and he didn’t really like any of the ‘normal’ songs that many couples seem to go for, so he chose some of his favorites as well as songs he knew I loved.”
3. Pick a few special songs, and let your musician to do the rest, says Christine: “We hand-picked the first dance, the father/daughter dance, and a few others, and they all happened to be on the song list on Doug’s website. The songs chosen by Doug were perfect, too!” (You can even listen to song samples on my website and YouTube channel.)
4. Be specific about what you DON’T want, says Andrea: “We went for a lot of variety, but we definitely made a ‘don’t-play-this-even-if-it’s-requested’ list.”
5. Trust your musician, says Lisa: “They’ve done this before, and they can help guide you to the perfect songs. And if you have a lesser-known favorite, just ask. We gave Doug a new song about a month before the wedding, and he learned it just for us, and it was perfect!”
6. Most of all, don’t stress too much about it, says Brigette: “We had fun with it and just chose songs we liked. We were young and in love, and everything sounded good!”